Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rebbe Chairs Inc. - Yiddishe gesheften

Rebbe's Chair In Every Home
A brief report in "Yediot Jerusalem" reports about the new craze among Chassidim: Purchasing replicas of their Rebbes' chairs ● A distritbutor in Jerusalem teamed up with wood carving professionals in Australia to bring you an exact replica of the Rebbe's chair for $770 ● Full Story 19 Cheshvan 5772 (16.11.2011)
The new craze in the Chassidic world: Replicas of chairs of the Great Chassidic Rebbes. In the recent months, replicas of various chairs are being sold, some of famous personalities of the past, and some of current Rebbes.

The idea is of Mr. Mordechai Regev, a Breslev Chossid who started by selling replicas of Rabi Nachman's Chair from the original which sits in the Me'ah Shearim. That replica sold for $2000 and many Brelev Chassidim purchased it.

Following his success, Mr. Regev proceeded to create a replica of the chair of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and he plans on selling it to Lubavitchers around the world, and to individual Chabad Chassidim.

The chair he replicated is the one the Rebbe sat on since 5748, and after measuring the exact dimensions he contacted professional sculptors in Australia who will do the wood carving. The chair will be sold for $770.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rabbi-plumber, anyone?

We know of Doktor Rabbiners and Rabbi Drs, but "Rabbi chef" is definitely a new one.
Seeing that there are so many people who have received some sort of Semicha but didn't follow it up with a rabbinic post, we won't be surprised to see "Rabbi plumber", "Rabbi-taxi-driver" and "Rabbi-hairdresser".

And does a "Rabbi-chef" get an invitation to join the RCV?

UPDATE: We now find an even odder rabbinical combination: "Rabbi-boxer"!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Word of the week: "Ashkephard"

Chabad - Betar surprise shidduch!

Old-timer writes:
I was a bit surprised to read that Central Shul-Chabad will be sharing its new building with the Betar youth group.

I cannot recall other times that Chabad and a Zionist organisation have combined. I realise that Betar is one of the few Zionist groups that is not anti-religion, however to the best of my knowledge Chabad was always officially non-Zionist and even anti-Zionist.
Would the Rebbe have approved? I doubt it, (though I would be relieved to hear that he allowed such partnerships in his lifetime).

Did our Vaad Ruchni give their approval to this? If so, what about inviting Bnei Akiva and even Hashomer Hatzair to open branches in Yeshiva - or at least in the new Chabad Youth building?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A $430,000 Chilul Hashem

Guest post by Hayitochen:
I was most disappointed to read in last week's Jewish News about Elwood Shul and the Yesodei Hatorah college battling it out in the Supreme Court of Victoria, with the report that the Shul has already spent $430,000 on the case!

Both sides are supposed to be Torah-observant organisations, so how come they didn't do the proper Torah thing and go to a Din Torah?

Whilst I am unsure on who the religious authority currently is for Yesodei, it was established by a group of frum Jews headed by Rabbi D Nojowitz of Beth Hatalmud with the approval of the late Rabbi Chaim Gutnick and offers a Charedi agenda and curriculum. Similarly Elwood Shul, has always been Orthodox and currently lead by Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick, who heads the Melbourne Beth Din and Melbourne Kashrut.
How is it then possible that such groups defy the stern and unambiguous Halacha of not bringing our arguments  to the secular courts? Rashi states that this is a Chilul Hashem - which as we know is one of the greatest Aveiros and about which our Sages say that במקום שיש חילול השם אין חולקין כבוד לרב.
And what lesson does the average Halacha-abiding Jew learn from this? If Shuls (in this case one whose rabbi is the acting head of Beth Din!) and religious schools shun Din Torahs why should he be any different?

Additionally, one may ask, is Elwood Shul truly so flush with money? Can they really afford to squander half a million dollars fighting another Jewish institution? And what about Yesodei?How much have they spent on lawyers?

I  have no inside knowledge of the case, but from what I read and heard, the case is nowhere near the end. Isn't there anyone in the community who can knock some sense into both sides?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why aren't Jewish concerns addressed at the Media Inquiry?

Can someone explain why have organisations and lay-leaders of our community - especially those who regularly criticise sections of the local media for anti-Israel bias and mis/disinformation - not made submissions about this to the current Independent Media Inquiry?

Wouldn't this have been an outstanding opportunity  to publicise the frequent anti-Israel slant of the usual suspects, eg, the Canberra Times, the SMH, The Age, SBS and the ABC?

We may have missed it whilst browsing the free on-line edition of the AJN, but we cannot recall any comment or criticism by it about this bungled and missed opportunity.

Where are they all? AIJAC, ECAJ, ZFA, JCCV and all the other acronyms that claim to be representing the interests of Israel and the local Jewish community? Not sure why our fearless MP, Mr Michael Danby isn't there. Maybe being a parliamentarian has something to do with it. But where are all the others? Has there been a massive slip-up? Or what?

(At the same time, members of the Orthodox community and especially the Chabad leadership should have considered raising their concerns on the history of biased and unjust articles published in the Jewish News when reporting on the observant community.)

Isn't it a bit late (or very early) for Kol Nidre?

The following advertisement appears in the Sydney edition of this week's AJN.
Advertising the Kol Nidre appeal a month after (or 11 month's before) Yom Kippur seems very odd.

Or maybe they aim to show the ignorance of people who didn't get a decent Jewish education.